CSAC Bulletin Article

Project Homekey Notice of Funding Availability

July 16, 2020

Today, officials representing Governor Newsom’s Office and several state departments/agencies including the California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency (BCSH), California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC), and more hosted a call to give an overview of the new Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Project Homekey. Project Homekey is the latest iteration of Project Roomkey in the 2020-21 Budget to address homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Administration announced the NOFA is now live on the HCD website to answer questions from local stakeholders about the program. A full press release is available here, as well as this letter from the Administration to local elected officials.

Among the more detailed explanation of the NOFA, the Administration shared the high-level priorities or principals represented in the design of the program. This included:

  1. Equitable access for equity-directed solutions that are both interim and permanent in nature;
  2. Flexibility for immediate or more long-term occupancy/use that represent broader community needs and the needs of the target population; and
  3. Building strong partnerships.

The Administration also shared details about the overall timeline and new resources being made available for interested applicants. The application portal is expected to go live on July 22, and awards will be made on a rolling basis from August through October. Additionally, the NOFA requires a pre-application consultation which can be requested by emailing homekey@hcd.ca.gov.

Counties are encouraged to pursue these opportunities as quickly as possible as the Coronavirus Relief Funds are limited and have an expenditure deadline of December 30, 2020. The speakers also noted that the $50 million General Fund included in the budget to support this program (also referenced below) will be utilized to provide a 24-month operational subsidy for the Homekey acquisitions. There will also be a webinar with further details next Friday, July 24, from 2:00-4:00 PM.

As a reminder, the 2020-21 Budget includes $550 million federal funds (Coronavirus Relief Fund) to be administered by HCD to support housing for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, these funds will be prioritized for counties, cities, and public entities to build off Project Roomkey through acquiring or rehabilitating motels, hotels, hostels, and other sites and assets as specified. The Budget includes an additional $50 million General Fund to be administered by HCD to be used for the acquisition, conversion, rehabilitation, and operating subsidies for hotels, motels, and other properties to provide housing for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. These funds will be prioritized to support the previously mentioned $550 million.

Please review the resources and NOFA closely as they include key information related to timelines, application tiers, and geographical allocations.

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